Framing and Legitimating EU Legal Regulation of Human Gene-Editing Technologies: Key Facets and Functions of an Imaginary

Aurélie Mahalatchimy, Pin Lean Lau, Phoebe Li, Mark Flear

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Gene-editing technologies, ie those able to make changes in the DNA of an organism, are the object of global competition and a regulatory race between countries and regions. There is an attempt to craft legal frameworks protective enough for users, but flexible enough for developers of gene-editing technologies. This article examines the imaginary built into the framing of EU-level legal regulation of human gene-editing technologies and identifies its three key related facets: the tension around naturalness; safeguarding morality and ethics; and the pursuit of medical objectives for the protection of human health. Concerns around the use of gene-editing technologies in relation to eugenics and human enhancement have produced a multi-faceted imaginary. We argue that this imaginary not only places a limit on EU-level regulation, despite a strong EU competence in respect of the internal market, but also seeks to ensure its legitimation.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Law and the Biosciences
Publication statusAccepted - 01 Mar 2021

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